This rich and creamy pumpkin custard pie is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving! I’ve served it with a mile high of whipped cream and of course, you can’t forget the pie crust cookies!
I’m calling this a pumpkin custard pie because it has a custard base. A lot of pumpkin pie fillings use evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk, but this recipe uses a combination of heavy cream, sour cream and eggs. I think this makes the pie taste much lighter and airier and not as dense.
I’ve baked my pie in a homemade pie crust and topped it with whipped cream made from scratch! I also used some extra pie dough to make adorable pie crust cookies.
Tell me about this pumpkin custard pie!
- All Butter Pie Dough – I don’t think there’s anything better than a buttery crust, but you could also use a storebought crust if you’re short on time!
- Pumpkin Spiced Filling – the pumpkin pie filling is filled with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and even a pinch of black pepper!
- Mile High Whipped Cream – I don’t know about you but I love having freshly made whipped cream with my slice of pie. I made a huge batch of whipped cream to top this pie!
Pumpkin: make sure you are using 100% canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling already has sugar and spices added to it!
Eggs: you’ll need 3 large eggs for the custard base.
Sour Cream: this makes our pumpkin pie taste extra rich and creamy.
Spices: I’m using a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a pinch of black pepper. Black pepper in a pumpkin pie might sound strange but it gives it that x factor!
Flour: my pie crust uses all purpose flour. I haven’t tested this with gluten free flour.
Unsalted butter: I always use European style butter in my pie crust. European style butter has a higher butterfat content making it much richer and creamier.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Step 2: Take half of the butter and cut it into thin sheets, take the other half and cube it. First add the butter cubes and toss in the flour, smooshing it (technical word! Ok, maybe not) with your fingers. Once the cubes are about the size of walnut halves, add the butter sheets. Do the same, tossing with the flour and smooshing the butter. Make sure all the butter is covered in flour!
Step 3: Drizzle over 10 tablespoons of ice water and toss with the butter flour mixture. You might need to add more water, just do it a tablespoon at a time – it all depends on the flour you are using! You should be able to knead it with your hands and have it come together with just a few dry spots.
Step 4: Divide the dough in two, with this recipe I made one disc (for the pie crust) slightly bigger than the other (for the pastry cut outs). Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. I then took out the dough, rolled it on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, then folded it back into itself like an envelope and rewrapped in plastic. Chill for another 30 minutes. This is going to make your pie dough even flakier, but it is optional!
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 220°Celsius/430°Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough and place in a deep dish pie plate, letting it slump. Press firmly on the sides and bottom, this will help it not slump when baking.
Step 6: Tuck the overhang and crimp the edges. Place the pie in the freezer for 10 minutes. Take it out and prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Place two pieces of foil on top and pour in your rice or pie weights or beans. You want to make sure that the pie is completely filled so it doesn’t slump! Bake for 15-17 minutes, then take the pie out and carefully lift out the two pieces of foil and pie weights. Decrease the temperature to 175°Celsius/350°Fahrenheit and place the pie back into the oven, baking for another 10 minutes. The bottom should be golden brown. Remove the pie crust from the oven and let it cool.
Step 7: Preheat the oven to 190°Celsius/375°Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth.
Step 8: Add the pumpkin puree, all the spices and the salt. Whisk again until smooth.
Step 9: Add in the heavy cream and sour cream, whisking once more.
Step 10: Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the cooled pie crust. Tape on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 45-50 minutes. The middle should still slightly jiggle but the edges will be set. Let it cool down to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Measuring Ingredients – I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Fluff & Sprinkle Flour – If you aren’t weighing your ingredients and are using a measuring cup, then use the fluff and sprinkle method to measure your flour. Go to this link here to find out how to do that.
- Cold Butter & Pie Dough – one of the main reasons why your pie dough either is brittle or slumps is because the dough (and the butter!) were not cold enough. Make sure before you start making the dough that your butter is very cold, and make sure once you’ve made the dough that you chill it for at least 2 hours.
- Make Pie Crust Cookies – roll out any extra pie dough you have and cut out shapes using cookie cutters or pie crust cutters. Bake them at the same time as you are parbaking the crust. I recommend doing a light eggwash on them and baking for the first 15 minutes.
- How to Avoid Cracks & Air Bubbles – make sure you tap the unbaked pie before placing in the oven to get rid of any air bubbles. You also don’t want to overbake the pie which will cause cracks! Worst case scenario is you have a few cracks and cover it up with whipped cream and pie crust cut outs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if you don’t want to make your own pie dough then you can use a ready made pie crust!
I recommend covering the cooled pie and storing in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Pumpkin Custard Pie
- 1 9" deep dish pie plate
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter cold
- 1 large egg whisked for an eggwash
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Fill a measuring jug with water and ice, place in the fridge. Take out 2 pieces of plastic wrap and place it near where you are working. Take half of your butter and cut into thin slices, about ⅛ inch thick and then place in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Take the remaining butter and cut into ½ inch cubes. Toss the cubes of butter in the dry ingredients, making sure they’re all evenly coated. Use your fingers to smoosh the butter into the flour, you want to completely flatten the cubes and make them smaller until the biggest pieces of butter are about the size of a pea.
- Take out the chilled butter slices and add them to the bowl, tossing to coat in the flour, then use your fingers to flatten the butter slices. You’ll now have a mixture of very small and slightly larger bits of butter.
- Drizzle 10 tablespoons of your ice water into the flour (make sure not to have any ice fall in). Use your hands to toss the flour and butter. Continue tossing the mixture until it forms a shaggy mass. Continue drizzling ice water, a tablespoon at a time, and kneading the dough until just a couple of dry spots remain and you have one large piece of dough.
- Divide the piece into 2 and form into 2 discs. I made one disc slightly larger for the pie crust, the other slightly smaller for the pastry cut outs. Wrap them tightly in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Take them out of the fridge and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes (depending how cold your kitchen is) to make it easier to roll out. One disc at a time, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds, then rewrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes (or up to 2 days). This step is optional but gives you a flakier pie dough and I find it easier to work with.
- With an oven rack in the middle position, preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about an inch wider than your pie plate. I find it easiest to gently lift the dough and place it on to the plate, but you can also roll it up on to your rolling pin and then unroll it on to your pie plate.
- Let the dough slump into the plate and press very firmly on to the bottom and the area where the side and the bottom of the pie plate meet – this is going to help it not slump when baking!
- Tuck the overhang underneath, this is going to give you a thicker edge. Go back and use your hand and fingers to firmly press your dough into the pie plate. Crimp the edges as desired, crimping firmly into the pie plate is going to help it not shrink and hold its shape.
- Place your pie plate in the freezer for 10 minutes. While that is chilling, roll out the second disc of dough. Cut out shapes using cookie cutter or pie crust cutters. Brush with an egg wash (don't get rid of this, you'll need it to brush the pie later!) so they'll get brown. Place the pie crust cutouts on a baking sheet.
- Take the pie out and use a fork to prick the bottom a few times – this will make the bottom not puff up as much when baking.
- Line the inside of the pie dough with two pieces of foil, making an X shape, and be sure you have the foil hanging over the edges – this will make it easier to lift out after baking. You also want the overhanging foil to cover the crust so it doesn’t brown too much.
- Fill the pie plate with your pie weights, dried beans or sugar. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 15-20 minutes. Place your baking sheet with the cookies just below it. The edges should be a light golden colour. Quickly take the pie out and lift the foil and pie weights out. Remove the pie crust cookies and let them cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius and place the pie back in. Bake for another 10 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Make Pie Filling
- Preheat the oven to 375°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius with a rack in the center of the oven.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugars and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree, spices and salt. Whisk in your sour cream, and heavy cream.
- Pour the filling into the crust. Tap on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake for 45 minutes and check it, the filling should be puffed but the edges should have set. You may need another 5 or 10 minutes!
- Take the pie out and let it cool completely. Then place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and sugar together until you have stiff peaks.